Courtney was born and raised Lincoln, Nebraska and received her Bachelors of Performing Arts from Oklahoma City University. She trained extensively throughout the country at programs such as the Kirov Academy of Ballet, Briansky Saratoga Springs Dance Center, Dance Aspen, Soviet American School of Ballet, Ballet Omaha and Gus Giordano Dance Center. She began her pre-professional performing career at the age of 13 and upon graduation from OCU, moved to Chicago where she immediately began dancing as a senior company member of the Joel Hall Dancers, where she called home for 10 years. She was also a company dancer and publicity assistant for Instruments of Movement for five years. She has worked in Chicago-area theater as a featured dancer, dance captain and swing for shows at Drury Lane Oakbrook, Drury Lane Evergreen Park, Drury Lane Water Tower, Chicago Center for the Performing Arts and Theater at the Center. She has been rehearsal director/ballet mistress for a variety of youth, trainee and professional companies in the Chicago area and has been a proud union member of Actors Equity Association and the National Educators Association.